Descale Coffee Machine: A Guide

Limescale delays the brewing process, alter the taste of the coffee and reduce the life of a coffee machine. Therefore, it is important that you descale your coffee machine. How to do this is explained below.

Which means to descale?

In general, the following means are recommended for descaling:

  • Vinegar essence mixed with water
  • Citric acid with water
  • Commercial descaler from different manufacturers

Citric acid is generally discouraged from decalcifying a fully automatic coffee machine, as calcium citrate is produced during hot descaling with citric acid, which is rather inferior to lime and settles in the same way. Also vinegar essence advised numerous manufacturers, since the corrosive agents could attack seals. However, most commercial decalcifiers are based on acetic acid or some other acid, so it's unlikely to make a difference, but rather a sales trick. It is best to read through the pack based on the decalcifier recommended by your manufacturer and replace with vinegar if necessary.

Adjust the hardness

Your coffee machine should automatically tell you when it's time to decalcify it. In order for him to assess this correctly, it is necessary for many devices to adjust the hardness of the water. Often the device comes with a test strip, which you only need to keep under the tap water for a short time. Otherwise, you can also check the hardness of your tap water online, e.g. read at

Descale the coffee machine step by step

The key combination used to start the descaling process differs depending on the coffee machine. The sequence of the program is pretty much the same:

1. Fill in the solution

Stir the decalcifier according to the manufacturer's instructions or mix one third vinegar essence with two thirds water. Empty the water tank and pour in the solution. Place a sufficiently large container under the water spout: The size depends on the volume of your water tank.

2. Start the descaling program

Start the descaler program. Normally it takes about 30 minutes. Keep away from the appliance during this time so that you do not scald yourself by hot water splashes.

3. rinsing process

Then empty the bowl, rinse the water tank well and fill it with clean, cold tap water. Perform a second pass, this time with clear water. The rinsing process is very important to remove the residues of chemicals or Essigessenz from the machine.

Tips & Tricks

Regular decalcification is also important, so that in the case of warranty, the fault is not yours. If you have not descaled your automatic coffee machine on a regular basis and there is a case of damage, the manufacturer may not cover the repair costs. Read more about possible damage and repairs to your coffee machine in the following article in our series: Fully automatic coffee machine repair.

Video Board: Nespresso Lattissima+: How To - Descaling